Tolland clinch Madden Trophy after edging Young Lions in shootout thriller | Photos

SWEET VICTORY: Tolland celebrate after defeating Young Lions in the Madden Trophy decider at Equex Centre on Sunday. Picture: Les Smith
SWEET VICTORY: Tolland celebrate after defeating Young Lions in the Madden Trophy decider at Equex Centre on Sunday. Picture: Les Smith

Tolland have avenged the memory of last year’s grand final loss with a thrilling penalty shootout victory over Young.

The sides scored two goals apiece but needed spot kicks to separate them in a classic decider.

It seemed as though Young would run out easy winners after Freyja Hewitson sliced open Tolland’s defence for Britanny Clarke to score after just five minutes of play.

Micaela Hall then almost doubled Young's advantage in the 11th minute but was denied by a sharp save from Jessica Leak.

Leak's effort appeared to lift her team mates and Nicole Konecnik went close to levelling after intercepting a loose pass and challenging goalkeeper Maggie Davis.

That raid was shut down but Davis couldn't deny Joanna Balcombe in the 21st minute after the Wolves striker deflected a clearing kick back into Young's goal for an unorthodox equaliser.

Hewitson's goal just after half time saw the Lions reclaim their advantage but the Wolves weren't done yet and Balcombe’s 65th minute strike set the scene for extra time.

The referee’s whistle blew too soon for either side to find the winner and when 20 minutes of extra time failed to separate them, it came down to spot kicks

In the end, it was eventual best on ground recipient Leak who stood tallest under pressure, outlasting the Lions and sealing a famous win.

“I was telling myself not kick it wide during penalties and just kick them straight, but it’s really exciting and it’s great to come back and be part of a win,” Tolland skipper Mikayla Warner said.

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This story Tolland clinch Madden Trophy after shootout thriller | Photos first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.